ACT Government updates

$3 million to maintain public spaces and create jobs

April 23, 2020

An update on extra tree planting and maintenance across Canberra from City Services Minister Chris Steel, issued at 8.07am Thursday 23 April:

Four thousand trees will be planted across Canberra and public spaces will get a makeover as the Government invests in city maintenance work to support local businesses and create jobs.

Minister for City Services, Chris Steel, today released details of a $3 million package covering tree planting and maintenance, playground refreshes and public space maintenance as part of a stimulus package to support local businesses during COVID-19.

“Responding to the spread of COVID-19 is one of the greatest challenges our city has ever faced and, to do this, we need to work together with Canberrans to create job opportunities for those that need it, and support local businesses through this difficult time," Minister Steel said.

“Yesterday I announced $9.75 million worth of upgrades to our city’s infrastructure to support the construction industry. Today I am releasing details of an additional $3 million package to keep workers employed planting and looking after our trees, maintaining our open spaces and refreshing our playgrounds and public spaces.

“We’ll also establish a new tree team, creating 10 new jobs based in south Canberra. This team will help us to address a backlog of tree maintenance requests from the community, as well as help to keep our urban forest safe and healthy.”

“As our Autumn tree planting program kicks off today, we’ll be more than doubling the number of trees planted from 1,500 to 4,000 and using this opportunity to draw from over 2,000 requests we received for planting locations during a 2019 YourSay consultation.

“Suburbs with low canopy cover are our immediate focus, and we’ll be planting a combination of native, evergreen exotic and exotic deciduous trees to ensure our urban forest remains diverse and resilient.”

The package of works will include:

  • Planting 4,000 trees across 87 suburbs in locations as suggested by the community during consultation in 2019
  • Creation of a new 10-person tree team to respond to tree maintenance requests and help care for the urban forest
  • Mulching and extra watering of trees, including in areas with significant established trees like City Hill and Ainslie Avenue
  • Refreshing up to 30 playgrounds including installation of extra softfall, repair of equipment and repainting

Tree planting by region:

- Gungahlin: 1452
- Tuggeranong: 841
- Woden and Weston Creek: 845
- Belconnen: 571
- Central Canberra:  368

More information is available at